Saturday, April 28, 2012

New 70's Sports Photos from Michael Breslin

Thanks to Michael Breslin for these photos from the 1970's

Paul Fisher with hat, Ben Frank in white wig, Pete Germain teacher (Metalwork/French) The guy in the Fez is Mick Garlic.
Prepping for the school play, Simple Spyman 1976

School Rugby team 1973 Front row left to right
John McKay (kneeling) Mr Barret,Tim Vince, Tom Sayer, Mr Carol (holding ball), John Kenny, Michael Breslin, Don't recall the other 2. Peter Dawson is the lad kneeling on the right.
Back Row Mr Petty (Teacher )English, PE Nick Watson, do not recall the rest except the last two, Mr Thomas and Simon Hull on the end.
Note the colour of the school strip because it changed in the next photo just 4 yrs later.

School Rugby Team 1977 - Formidable bunch now!
Left to right front row:
John McKay, Dave Rowlands, Duncan Milne, Gaz Marks, (Honorary mention here, he still runs Pinley RFC and has played his whole life)Tim Vince, Simon Hull, Richard Bruce
Back Row :
Michael Breslin, Paul Fisher, Gavin DeMiranda, Robin Hunter, next I cannot recall. John Kenny, Lindon Harris, Satwant Banwait (Honorary mention - he became the County (Shropshire) champion cross country runner that year)

1st City of Coventry School Scout Summer camp 1977 Jersey

Front row, names have left me but Mr McCarthy (English teacher and now currently Principal/Head teacher of another school in Worcester)organised this soccer team
Back Row left to right
George Houguez, Don't know, Mr McCarthy, Dave Meacham, Michael Breslin, Duncan Milne, don't know.

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Photo Gallery - Cleobury Mortimer Local History Society

Cleobury Mortimer Local and District History Society, which meets at Neen Savage, have uploaded a picture gallery section.

It comprises of several gallery of Cleobury and area, St Mary's, The Blounts and there's one photo of the school which we haven't seen before. Worth a look through.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Dialogue with Colin Partridge - Teacher Extraordinaire!

After posting a bio - Staying Alive by former Cleobury English teacher Colin Partridge - who also ran the Literature Club and edited The Boarder - the school magazine, there has been some dialogue both via e mail and the comment box on this site....(See the index to find find The Boarder posts). Colin taught at the school in the late 50's and left in the summer of 1961.

The Original M28
"Yes - I also remember Mr Partridge - suppose he was something of a "one off" - during my incarceration at CCBS between the dates 1957 to 1961 I can recall most teachers but Mr Partridge was one of the better in my eyes. I recall the trepidation at the start of the lesson when our "essay" results were announced to the class - it was always either Neale Blackford or myself that came either 1st or 2nd.

Recall - on one occasion CP played some classic music at the start of the lesson and we had to write in essay format how we interpreted what came into our heads when listening to the music and put pen to paper. It's really spooky but I can recall as though it was yesterday that I wrote words to the effect that it reminded me of -standing on the quay side as a ship was pulling away from the harbour and saying goodbye and waving to a girlfriend not knowing whether or not I would ever see her again. (Must have been some sad music).

Kinda strange how one stores these memories - that must have been circa 1960 - some 52 years ago. Luckily my health and memory are still ok - perhaps something to do with the clean Cleobury air. If you are reading this Mr Partridge - thank you very much for being part of my English education - top man- and of course 10/10 !!

ps I recall Sir, you had at one time a Ford Consul (or the like) motor car and you were not too bright at car maintenance - you asked me if it was ok to flush out the radiator with water from a hose pipe, having first opened the radiator valve - and you know what - it was ok ! "

Reply from Colin Partridge - 

"It's delightful to hear from you over such time... My WISH as a teacher was to stimulate creative imagination but my JOB was to instill grammar for O levels. Sometimes I felt divided...

I still have no knowledge of car maintenance. The car was a Zephyr purchased on a Friday evening in September 1960 at a used-car lot on the banks of the Wye in Bewdley. I couldn't drive, so the car was left for later collection. I was on duty that weekend when it rained and rained ceaselessly. At Saturday tea a colleague said he'd noticed the Bewdley car-lot was flooding and likely to be completely under water... I couldn't leave the school and images of an upturned car - my first, my dream - floating downriver haunted me through Saturday evening and all day Sunday. The next day, after class two colleagues, possibly Mr Chopping and Mr Foy, drove me to collect the Zephyr and bring it to school. The waters had receded and the car was undamaged but seemed to gleam with fresh wax-polish. That is my haunting experience from those days...!

I have no recollection of the creative exercise which has remained to haunt M28!  And I wish I knew what music  was played...It could have been Moussorgsky...!

Emerson Lake and Palmer with a live rendition of  Moussorgsky's Pictures At an Exhibition

One of the more imaginative things I did at the school was to gain permission from Mr Morris to show a silent film in the winter of 1960. In class a pupil had mocked the idea of a film being silent. So I wanted him and others to see what great art had been achieved in the medium.

Mr Morris readily provided the extra funding to rent "Battleship Potemkin" from the British Film Institute and the entire school came to the hall one see it. I improvised music at the piano and the audience quickly settled down. I could feel their rapt attention as I struggled with to invent ominous chords and grim minor phrases. Quickly the school identified with the oppressed and mutinous sailors. At the end, as the battleship tore into the screen in a three-D effect, there was a moment of absolute silence and then the school broke out into cheers and applause... It was a moment of spontaneous reaction, such as a young person usually gets only at sporting events.

And I never had the opportunity to present a silent film with piano accompaniment at any other institution!

It was the last image in the film that I referred to above -  when the hull of the ship seems to emerge from the screen into the audience. And the extracts used in this trailer are excellent although the most emotional images are omitted. And the music - inspirational!

Best wishes - Colin.

Hear is the trailer via Youtube -

Comments from Facebook -

Paul Nicholas Williamson 
There is a name Neale Blackford, he has had childrens book published, he came to my wedding back in 1971 and we still exchange christmas cards, perhaps the most intelligent chap I came across whilst at Cleobury, could be very witty and funny without trying.

John Tearse
had a lasting impression on my memory so much so that I recently bought a copy of it from America. I intend to have a showing of it to any body that fancies seeing it again i have a large room with screen and projector and a bar that stocked with Otter and other brands as well anybody who fancies a trip to Hinckley one night let me know.
PS we have popcorn.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Last Orders ; Time Gentlemen Please - Photos and Text by Charles Joyce

Last orders ; Time Gentlemen Please - By Charles Joyce

Truly another classic gem , spot on focus , serious composure . Taken around 67’ returning from Cleobury probably a Sunday afternoon a leisurely stroll  around the village
The magnificent  7 are as follows , back row L to R :
David Mansell , Rich Gillespie , Jersey Duebeck , Peter Wan .
Bottom row L to R :
Sumanbhai  Patel , Frank Dutton , Frank Kirkland.

Note ; the dress code, Sunday best suits and ties, school scarves portrays a certain ambience and a credit to ourselves and the school image against the rural background and countryside of Cleobury . Well turned out lads , full marks for presentation .

As we were about to “get back” to school for Sunday tea , the Beatles hit comes to mind , I think the last which they recorded before they split , or was it ?

Sunday afternoon we go down to the village and have coffee and listen to the latest pop songs on the juke box . “Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon “ springs to mind, by the Kinks, or “ when a man loves a women Percy Sledge. Pity I never swopped places and got a picture of myself in the group.

2nd shot is Frank Dutton and myself relaxing by the pool surround , pity another double exposure, but adds a little character to the school atmosphere. “ roll out those lazy hazy days of summerNat King Cole.

3rd shot , down hill approach to Cleobury, from Mawley Oak. Just pick out the church steeple , and a very faint outline of Clee Hill on the skyline. The spring of 67’ slight shadows,

4th shot of myself (Charles Joyce) at home, Coventry.

5th shot , relaxing on a beach on a camping holiday, Guernsey 67’

Before starting my engineering apprenticeship, welcome to the world of work, 45 years and counting.

My title “ last orders” I think these are the last pictures, moments in time , captured forever “ time gentlemen please “ A Tribute to our past .

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Photos of the 70's from Michael Breslin

Alan Thorne - Michael Breslin tells us -

" We went to visit him at his new home a few years before his passing. (I want to say that it was somewhere South of Clows Top but as I wasn't driving, cannot say exactly where.)

He really was in good form and ironically, we had a smoke with him (after him spending all his time at school trying to catch us)
Simon Hull arranged to visit him with his 2 1/2 yr old son, Patrick (On his lap)
Alan was so happy to hold a baby /child even though he was totally blind at this stage of his demise.
I seem to remember he needed a wheelchair also to get around by Summer 1995/96
Simon was one of 4 brothers who attended COCS
Martin, Simon, Buzz, Peter."

Michael Breslin tells us -
"The above was taken in Jersey on the scouts Summer camp at Peter Germain's property.
The scout troup was called "1st City of Coventry School". George Parker (Scout Master) was really quite respected in the scout organization as we found out at the annual jamboree. I am unsure if the respect came from him being a headmaster or for his efforts within the scout organization. I seem to remember him having a lot of stripes and badges for different events/achievements. He was excellent at teaching knots and cloud formations as I recall...

Mr Germain and eventually Mr McCarthy were Assistant Scout Masters. Pete Germain was quartermaster which was a critical role. After each camp, he would organise the equipment back into the store to the left of the stage in the assembly hall. Basically, this equipment was also available to the rest of the school pupils. (camping was permitted at weekends if booked a week in advance) Friday nights, Scouts would meet in the hall and also Army Cadets would meet o the yard.

Back to the photo, sadly only one individual was in full uniform at the time because he had gone out to get supplies with Mr Germain. (The other two showing their belts and crests on the shirts have removed their neckerchief and woggle.)
St Malo

The rest of us were chilling in the marquee. I only remember a few names. George Huguez (left in bare feet)
Dave Meacham sitting down front middle having a cuppa, I am standing behind Dave with a silly pork pie hat on. Dave also had an older brother who attended COCS, Eddie Meacham. (I know that Eddie became a policeman like his dad in Coventry.) Behind me to the left is Duncan Milne. Duncan also had two brothers who attended COCS, one older and one younger. (He may have had two older???) I think this is 1976. We went on a day trip to France on a brand new Hoverfoil landing at St Malo. We bought some French Wine of course....which is a whole other story.

Back on the island, we ate Jersey potatoes so fresh....45 mins from ground to the plate... We visited the underground hospital which fascinated us because we were told that as prisoners of war were building it, if they became ill during construction, they were often thrown into the concrete in the walls, before they even died.....

I cannot glean much more from this photo but I remember that it rained an awful lot.
Oh, back to loaning the scout equipment to the rest of the pupils. Camping was allowed during the late spring early summer. It was a limited number, I think there were 10 2xman tents so 20 kids could either hike to Clows Top, Clee Hill, Ditton Priors, Cleeton St Mary to designated camping spots. (I also recall going to a youth hostel in the Long Mynnd one weekend, but that may have been a scout event.).After School on Fridays, camping food supplies were collected from the kitchen in a box and then taken to the assembly hall. The rucksack, tent, stove and pans were checked out of the quartermaster store (I can fell a little campfire song coming on now) in "ship shape and Bristol fashion"....and the campers would head off on their jaunt and return Sunday afternoon at some point."

"One For the Pot" School play 1977
Back row Left to right :
Robert Paton, Tony Powell, Michael Breslin, Tim Vince, Alex Mihijlovic
Front Row, Paul Fisher, Gary Marks, Mike O'Donoghue, John McKay, Darren Mulcahy

By the Pool '73
L to R Michael Breslin, Tony Dean, Steven Hill
TD room behind the fence